Michaela Community School | The latest news at Michaela School
Michaela School Wembley London
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Michaela Primary – you can make it happen!

18 Apr 2014, Posted by website administrator in Latest News

We are delighted to announce that the Trust will be submitting a proposal to the Department for Education to set up a primary school in Brent. If approved, Michaela Primary would be a sister school for Michaela and would be established in or around Wembley Park in September 2015.

Read about Michaela Primary here

We need you!
We are looking for a number of community members to get involved in the creation of this new school. If you have a professional background in areas such as primary education, finance, marketing, ICT, law or human resources, we’d love to hear from you.

Do you know anyone who might be interested in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help shape Michaela Primary from day one?

Please get in touch by emailing primary@mcsbrent.co.uk, or by leaving a message on 0845 257 5070.

Like our new Facebook page

THANK YOU. Your support will help make our vision become a reality.

Team Michaela

Green light for Michaela

09 Apr 2014, Posted by website administrator in Latest News

We recently met with senior representatives from the Department for Education (DfE) for a checkpoint meeting to monitor our progress.

Recent milestones achieved include the signing of our Funding Agreement, which has enabled us to make formal offers to children, sign contracts with our teachers and continue progressing towards opening in September.

We are delighted to report that all aspects of our planning are on track and, with the option of grading us red, amber or green, the DfE gave us green!

See our exceptional teachers

Read about our Funding Agreement

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Join our waiting list

02 Apr 2014, Posted by website administrator in Latest News

There’s still a chance your child could be offered a place at Michaela.

It is normal practice in schools that some places can become available as people’s circumstances change and families relocate. It is therefore likely that some of our waiting list applicants will eventually be offered a place at Michaela. Applicants who join the waiting list now and live within a five mile radius of Arena House in Wembley Park have an equal chance of gaining a place as those children who are already on the waiting list. This is because there are several rounds of random allocation between now and September.

To be added to our Year 7 waiting list, please contact Brent School Admissions Service by phone on 020 8937 3110 or by email at school.admissions@brent.gov.uk.

You will need to contact Brent School Admissions Service to join our waiting list even if you live outside Brent.

The closing date for the next round of offers is 26th April, and any available places will be allocated on 30th April.

Our Welcome Event, when our first Year 7 pupils and their families will meet the teachers and find out about the great progress that has been made, is not planned until 15 June, so you won’t miss out!

Might any of your friends be interested in their child accessing an excellent education that prizes knowledge and tradition? Let them know that it’s not too late!

We are unable to add you to our waiting list as this is being handled by Brent School Admissions Service but if you would like to get in touch with us about our waiting list, please email us at waitinglist@mcsbrent.co.uk.

Michaela in the news!

31 Mar 2014, Posted by website administrator in Latest News

Michaela’s Headmistress, Katharine Birbalsingh, talked to the Brent & Kilburn Times about how Michaela will bring a private school standard of education to Brent.

CaptureClick here to read the article.

Join our waiting list by 27 March

20 Mar 2014, Posted by website administrator in Latest News

There’s still a chance your child could be offered a place at Michaela.

It is normal practice in schools that some places can become available as people’s circumstances change and families relocate. It is therefore likely that some of our waiting list applicants will eventually be offered a place at Michaela. Applicants who join the waiting list now and live within a five mile radius of Arena House in Wembley Park have an equal chance of gaining a place as those children who are already on the waiting list. This is because there are several rounds of random allocation between now and September.

To be added to our Year 7 waiting list, please contact Brent School Admissions Service by phone on 020 8937 3110 or by email at school.admissions@brent.gov.uk.

You will need to contact Brent School Admissions Service to join our waiting list even if you live outside Brent.

The closing date for the second round of offers is 27th March, and any available places will be allocated on 31st March.

Our Welcome Event, when our first Year 7 pupils and their families will meet the teachers and find out about the great progress that has been made, is not planned until 15 June, so you won’t miss out!

Might any of your friends be interested in their child accessing an excellent education that prizes knowledge and tradition? Let them know that it’s not too late!

We are unable to add you to our waiting list as this is being handled by Brent School Admissions Service but if you would like to get in touch with us about our waiting list, please email us at waitinglist@mcsbrent.co.uk.

Governor’s book receives rave reviews

17 Mar 2014, Posted by website administrator in Latest News

Daisy ChristodoulouCongratulations to Daisy Christodoulou for the rave reviews received for her latest book.

Daisy, a former University Challenge winner, is a very active member of Michaela’s governing body.

This review appeared in The Sunday Times on 16 March 2014:

Seven Myths About Education by Daisy Christodoulou
A brilliant young teacher’s controversial attack on ‘progressive’ education teaching methods
Dominic Lawson

Seven years ago, Daisy Christodoulou was one of those freakishly knowledgeable young people whose displays of omniscience on University Challenge captured the imagination of the popular press: “Could Daisy be Britain’s brightest student?” was one of the tabloid headlines of the day.

Now Christodoulou, still in her twenties, should make headlines for a second time. Seven Myths about Education, her first work, is a heat-seeking missile aimed at the heart of the old educational establishment. Among the targets of this remarkable book are the idea that the teaching of facts prevents understanding; that teacher-led instruction demands passivity from pupils; that “projects and activities” are the best way to learn; and that the teaching of knowledge is “indoctrination”.

You can immediately see that her intellectual adversary is “progressive” educational doctrine; but she points out that her own belief in teaching via accumulation and absorption of facts is itself a radical break from more than half a century of received opinion, and that the dominance of progressive educational methods in the state sector has itself contributed to growing disparity in educational outcomes between rich and poor.

Her anger on this count is palpable. She comes from the working-class East End of London, but won an assisted place at a private school: “From the moment I got the assisted place, I was well aware of how fortunate and privileged I was. When I graduated, one of the reasons I decided to train as a teacher was to try to share the good luck and privilege I had had with others… I taught at a secondary school in London for three years and enjoyed it immensely. However, day after day I would be confronted with astonishing evidence of the pupils’ low levels of basic skills and knowledge.”

Christodoulou was initially perplexed by her inability to get her pupils at a “particularly challenging school” to acquire the skills to prosper. It did not occur to her to blame the prescribed teaching methods. But then she got hold of a book called Visible Learning by John Hattie. Unlike the progressive educationalists’ theories — which stem from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Education and its declaration, “Teachers, give your scholar no verbal lessons; he should be taught by experience alone”— Hattie’s work was unpolitical and scientific. And his research showed that “direct instruction” — in which “the teacher decides the learning intentions and success criteria…[and] evaluates if they understand what they have been told by checking for understanding and then retelling them” — was immensely powerful. This method was in stark contradiction to the “independent learning” taught at teacher-training institutions. Hattie recorded that when he gave the results of his research to such students “already indoctrinated” to believe instruction was “bad”, they were stunned.

Christodoulou’s reaction was the same, but then: “I planned and taught a sequence of lessons on English grammar based on the idea of direct instruction. I was astonished at how successful they were. Pupils were able to learn concepts which I had previously thought were just too tricky or difficult for them to bother with.”

The problem for those schools that want to follow the same path is that Ofsted, despite attempts by its new leader Sir Michael Wilshaw to challenge its fixation with “independent learning”, still marks down teachers who appear to be “directing” the class. Three months ago a school in Christodoulou’s old east London stamping ground was criticised by Ofsted because “in some lessons work is over-directed by the teacher and there are few opportunities for students to find things out for themselves” — such as, in study of Romeo and Juliet, spending the lesson making puppets of the two lovers. Depressingly, Christodoulou relates, this complete waste of an English lesson was itself singled out for praise by Ofsted inspectors.

And what will this amazingly precocious author be doing seven years from now? Head of Ofsted sounds about right.

Routledge £14.99/ebook £14.99 pp133
Buy for £13.49 (including p&p) from the ST Bookshop
Ebook £14.99

Michaela uniform unveiled!

14 Mar 2014, Posted by website administrator in Latest News

Following consultation with parents, children, teachers and governors, we are excited to be able to unveil Michaela’s uniform!

We are sure that you will agree that the navy blazer with gold trim detail looks extremely smart and the traditional style of our uniform reflects our ambitions as a school. We all look forward to seeing our pupils wearing their uniform with pride in September.

The uniform is durable and represents good value for money. Discounted starter packs will also be available. Parents/carers of children starting in Year 7 this September will find out more about purchasing the uniform at our Open Event on 15 June.

Uniform

PE Kit

Click on images to enlarge.

Full steam ahead for our school building

06 Mar 2014, Posted by website administrator in Latest News

Building works at Arena House are set to commence very soon and planning permission for those works has been granted.

Artist’s impression, subject to further design development.                © 2013 Bond Bryan Architects.

Artist’s impression, subject to further design development. © 2013 Bond Bryan Architects.

The building will be completely refurbished and refitted over the coming months with state-of-the-art facilities. Whilst the refurbishment of the entire building is scheduled to be completed by early 2015, from September 2014 we will have the use of a substantial portion of the site with all the necessary facilities and resources to enhance the education of our first Year 7 pupils.

In our first year at Michaela we will only have 120 pupils and eight teachers, and it has always been our intention to limit our use of the building to the lower floors, with the upper levels opening as the school grows.

Willmott Dixon is our appointed contractor and a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes such as site surveys, detailing of designs and securing planning permission. With all of this now in place, the team is currently preparing to start work on site in just a few weeks’ time.

Our contractors have a great deal of experience in preparing free schools to open (often on shorter timelines than ours) and the Education Funding Agency is involved every step of the way to ensure that everything required will be in place for us to welcome our first intake in September.

  • November 2013 – Surveys completed
  • December 2013 – Design agreed
  • January 2014 – Planning permission granted

Over the next few months in the lead-up to the opening of the school, Willmott Dixon will be stripping out the existing building, creating new spaces that meet our specific requirements and installing new IT systems and furniture in preparation for our new school. The work on site will then be the end product of months of planning and we will keep you updated as Arena House undergoes its exciting transformation.

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Meet our teaching staff!

04 Mar 2014, Posted by website administrator in Latest News

We have selected the highest calibre of teaching staff for our school. Our Senior Leadership Team is now appointed and our team of teachers is almost complete.

Our Heads of Music and Art will be appointed over the next few weeks and our first Year 7 pupils and their families will meet the team at our Welcome Event in June.

Click here to view the teachers’ profiles.

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Funding Agreement confirmed

25 Feb 2014, Posted by website administrator in Latest News

“I am very pleased to confirm that the Secretary of State has agreed to enter into a funding agreement with the Michaela Community School Trust… I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the great commitment and energy which you and your colleagues have shown in reaching this point… Free schools form an integral part of the Government’s education policy to improve choice and drive up standards in schools. I am therefore delighted that Michaela Community School will bring new opportunities for children in Brent… I wish you all the best with the school’s opening in September 2014 and in the future.”
Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools

These are the magic words we received from the Government yesterday afternoon. The signing of the Funding Agreement represents a major milestone for all free schools. It is the official rubber stamp of confidence in our school and allows us to make formal offers to pupils, sign formal contracts with our teachers and begin the procurement of goods and services ready for opening in September.

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